Ask A Lawyer: Can I Use Erratic Behavior Of Ex To Obtain More Custody?


My ex and I have a four year old daughter, and my ex has now been evicted from two apartments with in 3 months. Now she is planning on moving in with the next door neighbor which she just met about three weeks ago. She is also behind on the daycare payments, which part of my support is supposed to pay for. How do I use this erratic behavior and irresponsibility to get more custody of our child?



A parent’s inability to maintain a stable home environment for the child is one significant factor in any reassessment of custody arrangements.  The specifics of her changes in residence and any explanations she gives, as well as the benefits of your home environment, would be factors for a court to consider in making changes in the custody arrangements.  The terms of your current custody arrangements and the specific requirements of the laws of your state as to timelines and criteria for custody reviews would need to be reviewed.  If the failure to pay the daycare results in your child being improperly supervised, that issue may also be relevant to the custody arrangements.  However, the debt to the daycare would usually only impact the amount and nature of the support arrangements.  You would need to review these issues with an experienced domestic litigation attorney, such as the Cordell & Cordell offices in your state.


Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues. 

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